Tuesday 1 January 2013

Running For A Reason

Happy New Year Everyone!

At the time of my last post, I was finishing the first 50% of my training plan which culminated in a race-pace Half Marathon on the 23rd December. The following week provided a break which allowed the seasonal consumption of large amounts of protein, sugar and a bit of alcohol - I wasn't expecting this time off and I think I must have miscalculated my weeks somewhere - so that worked out quite well then! Today, stage two has begun with a 10K race in Hyde Park on which Iain will report shortly.

Half our time off over Christmas was spent cooking, eating and washing-up and in the other half we attempted the ambitious challenge of sorting out our spare room once and for all. We really know how to enjoy ourselves!
A chunk of the sorting was through things that came from Emily's flat and amongst them I found something so relevant that it needs to be shared.

In 2005, Emily applied and was given a Golden Bond place for Diabetes UK. Sadly she had to turn it down a few months later as she struggled to keep control of her condition under the demands of the training. 
Members of TEAM! will be familiar with the application form, and what follows is from Emily's own application to run from 7 years ago.

Why do you want to support Diabetes UK?
"Finding out that I had Type 1 Diabetes came as a big shock and my desire to run the London Marathon for Diabetes UK stems from a desire to turn diabetes into something positive for me. I want to prove to myself that having diabetes will not change my outlook on life. I am a positive, motivated and hardworking individual who loves to set challenges."

How will you fundraise?
"My idea of fundraising incorporates both raising money for Diabetes UK and raising awareness of Diabetes among those who choose to sponsor me. Therefore in asking people for sponsorship I want to highlight and educate them on current debates surrounding diabetes. A recent article in The Times suggested that 'one in ten Britons can expect to suffer from diabetes by 2010'. As a diabetic I feel that I have a duty to highlight medical concerns arising from high levels of obesity currently dominating headlines in this country. My aim would be to offer sponsors information compiled around a healthy lifestyle of diet and exercise. I want to highlight the consequences of poor diet and minimal exercise and offer alternative ways of living to ensure the individual strives to stay healthy. Alongside this I want to propel forward the active research into Type 1 diabetes that will have a positive effect on myself in the future. My fundraising message will be one of education and awareness. To do this I will present each sponsor with a fact sheet of information that encourages them to become more informed. This along with my sponsorship information I would send to all my friends and family and encourage them to pass it amongst their peers and colleagues. I would also advertise my marathon mission in the local shops and newspapers and wear a Diabetes UK t-shirt during my training to encourage people to enquire about my challenge thus promoting the cause and mission ahead."

Emily continued to apply through the marathon ballot and finally got a place to run in 2012 which she deferred to 2013. 

Aside from being a terrifically poignant reminder of my loss, here in her own words, Emily is telling us how she felt about diabetes. 
Emily had no choice in developing the condition and she knew very well how serious and impactful being a diabetic was. When she saw so many people taking their good health for granted; making and pursuing highly unhealthy lifestyle choices which dramatically increased their own likelihood of developing the condition, it caused her a great deal of sadness, disbelief and real anger that people could actively choose to increase their own risk of developing it.  
As all of TEAM! are helping to run Emily's marathon for her, here is the essence of her message from 2005 brought to you as I hope she would be pleased with:

Whilst we will all have been consuming a little too much over Christmas, and probably making the same old new year resolutions to lose weight, get fitter and eat more healthily perhaps we all ought to start keeping those promises. 
Diabetes as we have discovered is not a benign condition which can be swept under the carpet and the likelihood of developing Type 2 diabetes is heavily influenced by your lifestyle choices 
It's serious shit: don't bring it on yourself.
Alison (and Emily)

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